What is the prevalence of Kaposi sarcoma (KS) following renal transplantation?

Updated: Mar 05, 2020
  • Author: Julia R Nunley, MD; Chief Editor: Dirk M Elston, MD  more...
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Kaposi sarcoma

The incidence of Kaposi sarcoma is 400-500 times higher in renal transplant recipients than in the healthy population. [17] Kaposi sarcoma accounts for approximately 3-5% of transplant-related malignancies in renal transplant recipients. The incidence varies according to geographic region and depends on ethnic composition of the population. Generally, Kaposi sarcoma incidence is higher in those with Jewish, Mediterranean, or Arabic ancestry and in blacks.

The highest incidence is in the first year after transplantation. Kaposi sarcoma usually appears 2-24 months after transplantation, in contrast to the late development of most other transplant-related malignancies. [49, 50, 51] As in other populations studied, the development of Kaposi sarcoma in renal transplant recipients is associated with human herpes virus 8 (HHV-8). Mucocutaneous lesions occur in 60% of renal transplant recipients with Kaposi sarcoma and may be isolated in these areas; however, visceral disease is not uncommon.

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